Something I have learned over the last decade or so—If you stop initiating the connection in your relationships, very few people (if any) will put in the work to pick up the slack or find out what is wrong.
It is an efficient, yet shocking way to find out what you mean to people. There are potentially other reasons they don’t reach out or make efforts, but the bottom line is you are obviously not as important to them as you thought and/or as important to them as they were to you. However, it isn’t usually that simple. If it ends there, consider yourself lucky. Often what happens next is they lash out, blame and accuse you of abandoning them, of being a crappy person, friend, son, daughter or whatever.
I am still unsure if they are that self-absorbed, stupid, entitled, or something I’ve yet to uncover.
Now you have to make some decisions. Do you want to have a relationship with this person? In either of the above situations, clearly it isn’t a healthy relationship. What is it costing you to maintain these relationships? Your health? Your self-esteem? Immense amounts of time?
How do you feel after not putting out all the effort for a while? How are you feeling not interacting with them? Are you devastated or relieved? Has your stress level gone down? Do you have more time to do what is important to you because you are no longer managing these relationships?
Relationship: the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
Relationships by definition require two people. I would add they also require participation and effort from both people to be a genuine relationship based on respect, love and kindness.
In my own life I have experienced this in several different ways in the past decade with friends, extended family, and most recently with my own parents. While I find it sad that this is happening and has happened, I also feel that I am enough. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of effort. I am worthy of thoughtfulness and consideration. I am worthy just as I am. And if all these people don’t get that, I am better off without them.
It has taken me a long time to realize my worth. It has taken me a long time to realize that I am worthy of love whether or not I manage these relationships. I have been tired for a very long time. Tired from giving and emptying my well without it being refilled. I am more than enough just the way I am.